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Churches are starting to reopen, and many congregations are looking at having services without children’s programming. Many parents who are looking forward to being back at church may feel anxiety about having their toddler in the service with them. Ahem…me, it’s me, I’m nervous. So after seeing Deeper Kid Min’s beautiful list of Praise Pack ideas, I thought I’d throw together a toddler version. This is my go-to list for my toddler busy bag:
I love snacktivities, because they help keep little hands busy and bellies full when kids need to sit quietly. A couple of our favorite busy bag snacktivities are:
- Cheerios and pipe cleaners: have your little one string cheerios onto a pipe cleaner while they snack. Pipe cleaners are stiffer than yarn or string, making this a great threading activity for younger children.
- Sorting colored goldfish: I love the colored goldfish crackers for naturally learning colors. When we need to have a quiet activity, I like to pack up a bag and grab an egg carton. I cut out a 4-section piece from the carton and use non-toxic markers to color the bottoms of each section. Then I let me little sort her goldfish crackers into the correct section.
Crayons and Coloring Pages
Another simple activity for busy bags are coloring pages and crayons. Several blogs offer coloring and activity pages for free or there are a number of great coloring books on the market. Add a box of crayons, and you’re set.
Another great option are reusable coloring books! His Kids Company has a beautiful collection of silicone coloring mats and books. Just color with washable markers, rinse with water to clean, dry, and color again. We have a couple of their silicone mats, and they are a favorite over here.
Blank paper and Dot Stickers
Another option I love is adding blank paper and dot stickers. One of my kids loves coloring and could color quietly for hours. My other one gets bored with coloring quite quickly. Bringing some blank pages and stickers makes it easy to whip up a quick dot-sticker activity in a pinch. Busy Toddler is the queen of dot-sticker activities.
Having a few small toys in your bag is always a good idea. You may choose to just add some favorite hot wheels cars or peg people. However, if you want to keep with a Bible theme, Joppa Toys has a wonderful collection of wooden Bible toys.
You can never go wrong with adding books to your busy bag. I like to add small board books, because they are harder to destroy, as well as look-and-find books. Here are a couple of our favorite church busy bag books for toddlers: